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Freediving in Lake Erie?

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New Member
Oct 6, 2002
At the end of this month, Im going to a family reunion on the shores of lake Erie in Ohio. Has anyone ever dived there? If so, how is the accessibility and visibility? Any dangers I should be aware of?
I have no idea about diving lake Erie. But once I was visiting my grandparents up there and went to Cedar Point for a weekend. I think it was the end of summer but im not sure, and I can remember how the water was washing the dead locusts up on shore. It was pretty nasty to a californian beach goer to see the entire shore line covered in dead insects haha
I haven't dove Lake Erie yet, but I have dove/ freedove in Michigan, Superior and Huron for many years.

The lakes have cleared up quite a bit in the last 12-15 years, due to zebra mussel infestation, and the water can get quite warm in July and August. I have even had 72 degree water in Lake Superior in August- and she's the coldest of them all. Erie is the shallowest of all the great lakes she should be the warmest.

She also has a number of wrecks in her. Check out some of Chris Kohl's books on Great Lakes wreck diving to find spots to dive.

I used to live on the north shore of Lake Erie (Canadian side) and the vis can range from decent to nil. Now to be fair the area where I grew up was all clay cliffs along the shore, so the only time the water was clear was with an offshore breeze. As soon as the waves started pounding against those cliffs the landslides would begin and the water would be mucked up for awhile.

Jon's correct about the zebra mussels. They've cleared the water up alot, and the water temps in Lake Erie now should be somewhere around 60-65 degrees.

Happy diving!
Thanks for the info! Im still considering whether or not to bring my diving gear... Probably will, in case I get bored.

There arent any rip currents or dangerous fishes, right?
Definatly no dangerous fish, and the rips and undertows would only exist on high wave days. The only problem you may enconter is if you spend lots of time on the rocks or on the bottom whre the zebra mussles collect. They are fairly sharp and can damage a fragile wetsuit. Other than that you may want to know that most of Lake Erie is fairly shallow, less than 60 feet. There are a couple of exceptions, however none that I know of in the Cleavland area.

There are a couple of quarrys in OH that sound interesting though. Here's a site that lists some of them... http://www.subaquatics.com/ohiodiver/sites.html Gilboa quarry sounds the best for freediving, but White Star quarry might be fun too.

Hope it works out well for you! Let us know how it goes.
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